The title of this blog is of course oversimplified but I wanted to emphasize the vast difference between the two sides. As a career coach, I spend a lot of time with people who are not employed, whether they’re my private clients or attendees at the various job-search networking groups I support and frequent.
On one hand, I certainly understand the self-imposed pressure or the family pressure or friends’ pressure on these people. It can be debilitating, devastating, and, as time goes by, more and more depressing. On the other hand, many of those who are currently employed simply don’t understand those on the other side. While the unemployed have to succumb to the reality that the money that used to come in has stopped and while they have to make very painful and unprecedented lifestyle changes, those who are employed and therefore unaffected by the 8 percent rate of unemployment live their lives as well as they did. The restaurants in my area are always very busy, and my neighborhood’s Lotus dealer is selling those $75,000 cars; I can tell by the dealer’s parking lot.
So, what’s the solution for those in transition?! NETWORKING is the solution. Having an excellent résumé is a must, of course, but a good résumé is not good enough in today’s competitive marketplace. Most important of all, finding someone to hand carry your résumé to a hiring manager is certainly a huge plus. How do you make that happen? By sliding into the company through networking via, say, LinkedIn, other social media, and networking meetings–and finding the right person to help you.
A recent executive client of mine had been a stellar performer throughout his career but was out of work for five weeks through no fault of his own. Similar to the pattern of all of those in transition, he was down and upset and frustrated about his new situation. I implored him to increase his networking activities, and he did. Last week, I bumped into him at a networking meeting. Later, he told me that while there he was asked by one of the other networkers for a copy of his résumé. The next day, the wife of that other networker called him to invite him to interview. The way it looks now and with a little bit of luck, this job seeker will be extended a job offer. What a wonderful story, hopefully having a happy ending that will prove my point. Networking is the answer.